/ Money, Technology

Your view: celebrating our Costly Calls campaign win

Fingers with speech bubbles

Together we’ve been celebrating our Costly Calls win, with companies being banned from using expensive numbers for their customer helplines. Here’s a round-up of your comments on the announcement.

Your comments here on Which? Conversation led to the launch of our Costly Calls campaign, and we’ve recently enjoyed big wins.

The government announced that travel firms will be included in new rules banning companies from using pricey 084 and 087 numbers for their customer lines. Meirion comments on the win:

‘It is about time this has come about. I have lost count of the times that I have used these numbers only to be left on hold, transferred to the wrong people, put back on hold only to be greeted by someone with a heavy accent, being hard of hearing this is tedious in the extreme and no one can ring you back.’

People power works

And now it’s over to Edward:

‘Congratulations to Which? for harnessing people power. Governments have ignored common sense proposals for far too long, and need to be brought to task. Let’s now clear up a few other nonsensical practices. Well done Which? Good to have someone to help ordinary people live in a better country. Thank you.’

Thanks very much Edward, but we couldn’t have done it without all of you! Graham shares the importance of people power:

‘When we come together and vote together, we are strong. Remember that everyone. They work for us, and by coming together like this, we can have whatever we want, we just need to get everyone to join in. We are the 99%, don’t ever forget that.’

Jim celebrates the win:

‘These companies and indeed Government departments have been using these numbers as a nice little earner for too long, good to see them going!’

Talking of Government departments, Carol asks what’s happening with their numbers:

‘What about contacting the Government offices on 0845 numbers? People on benefits and low incomes are screwed financially with these calls and often kept waiting for ages… does this mean they will be banned too?’

Well Carol, the Government has confirmed that you shouldn’t have to pay high charges to call public services, and the Cabinet Office will be publishing guidance soon.

Jan joins the celebrations:

‘Brilliant news that customer service lines will no longer be able to use expensive numbers. The last thing anyone needs is to be worried about paying extra for a call when they need help, especially when you can spend so long on the call. Also to have an 0845 number for people on benefits is ludicrous and the last thing they need.’

Financial firms must ban costly calls

But what about the banks? Most of you are calling for them to be banned from using costly calls too, including Brian:

‘I agree that banks must also be forced to comply – they are the ones who put us all in the present mess through their greed. If they are a bit short tell them to take it out of their bonuses.’

Lonewolf57 shares how he gets around using expensive numbers:

‘Banks and insurers must be included, they are some of the worst offenders of gouging every penny possible from their customers. I telephoned my bank the other day on an 0800 number I got from http://www.saynoto0870.com/, a great site by the way. I got through to them, and was told ‘I’m sorry, can you call back on the 0845 number because I don’t know how to transfer you from this line’! So I said ‘No! You can get them to phone me’, and they did. So one up to me.’

Nice one Lonewolf57 – that gets you our Comment of the Week! Finally, Simon14 sums up the mood on financial firms:

‘Great news. Well done, but bankers and financial services not included? They are the one’s who brought us to our knees and pay the fattest dividends and bonuses! They MUST be included.’

The good news is that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has committed to considering whether it could introduce similar measures for calling your bank or insurer. We expect the FCA to introduce new rules so that there are no exceptions, but make sure you keep the pressure up!


Is there a simple way of establishing which Telecoms Provider a Commercial Company is using for Premium Rate Numbers such as 0844 etc.?

Peter M says:
1 February 2014

Magenta Systems “codelook” can report which firm provided the number (which I understand is what you’re after).

Magenta Systems can be found at magsys.co.uk

Angie Scott says:
12 February 2014

We won. We won. The floodline number is now 0345 !!!!!!!!! not 0845.
Congrats to all who have joined the Costly Calls campaign. Though of course for me the ‘real’ victory will be when the banks and building societies go back to using ordinary landlines. OR does anyone know of one of these who doesn’t use an 0845 number.
I personally no longer do business with any company using an 0845 number. Imagine if everyone who signed your petition did the same.
More power to your elbow
Angie Scott

david says:
24 April 2014

Want cheap calls? website saynoto0870.com has saved me a lot.